Seeds that travel
Many flowers and plants around us may have arrived from somewhere else. They are plants with seeds that travel. That somewhere may be far away or it may be just up along the road.
Whichever it is, how do seeds travel?
Seeds that travel do it for the same reasons but they do it by many different means.
“It is not the grown-up plants that travel, as a rule, though some of them do. For you must know the plant world is a topsy-turvy kind of place where the parents stand still at home and the children wander about”
‘Little Wanderers’ by Margaret Warner-Morley
Why do seeds travel?
If all the same wild plants grew every year in the same place the soil would become impoverished and plants would die. So seeds need to find a new place with soil that feeds them well for their specific needs; seeds get up and travel.
Seeds that travel and the different ways they do it
All seeds (or plants) possess abilities to travel in different ways.
- Running roots underground that survive the winter
- Plumes eg: Dandelions which are so light they are carried on the breeze.
- Flight aided by wings on the seeds. eg: Sycamore, Ash, Pines.
- By clinging on. Like sticky burrs that get caught on your clothes or animal fur and get transported that way. Or when dampened by rain the seeds become sticky.
- Eaten by birds and then pooped out at a new place. eg: berries, mistletoe
- Carried away and stored somewhere by squirrels or mice. eg: nuts or berries
- Some seeds float. Like the fibrous shell of a coconut it may fall in the sea or river and float until landing on new soil.
- Some seeds explode and propel themselves when they pop open, managing to land far from their parent plant.
More observations of seeds
Seeds come in all different shapes and sizes. Any time of the year is good to start collecting them and examining the shapes present in their forms. Using these shapes and patterns as an imprint onto clay is a way to enjoy the mindful the observation.
I hope you enjoy the seeds that you find, how far do you think they might have travelled?